Changes to the provinces drug insurance program went into effect yesterday, Oct first.
The change makes First Nations part of the provincial Pharmacare system taking that responsibility away from Health Canada. In March of this year the province changed regulations that removed barriers to First Nations to join the Pharmacare program.
For the vast majority of the 143,000 eligible first nations thy won’t see any change and drug coverage will remain the same. Clients need to present their BC Services Card and their status card when they go to get a prescription filled.
Switching to the provincial plan puts the bureaucracy closer than having to deal with Ottawa. It also provides a better opportunity for first nations to seek information and to discuss their drug therapy.
If the changes effect you, make sure you have all of your prescription drugs before you leave BC because under the plan prescriptions would have to be paid out of the users pocket if purchased outside BC.
Grand Chief Doug Kelly who chairs the first nations health council says first nations now have the same health services as other BCer’s. Kelly adds the change is a significant milestone on the longer journey to transforming health service for First Nations in BC.
For more information on the services for First Nations visit the BC Government Website.